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FocusGreek MP hurls homophobic insults at Luxembourg PM

29.08.14 @ 10:48

A Greek MP waged a homophobic twitter war on Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel on Thursday (28 August), prompting a backlash on the social media site. "From a Europe of nation states to a Europe of ... faggots!! ...

Obesity could qualify as disability, says EU court

17.07.14 @ 13:15

Obesity may be considered a disability if it affects how a person does their job and so could fall under EU rules banning discrimination in the workplace, the EU's top court said Thursday (17 July) in an opinion set to ...

EU student programme hits record popularity

10.07.14 @ 19:14

The EU’s student exchange programme, Erasmus, funded the studies of nearly 270,000 students in 2012/2013 - a record 15,000 more than the previous year, the European Commission said on Thursday (10 July). At a press ...

EU survey sees happy Danes, grumpy Bulgarians

18.06.14 @ 19:12

Scandinavians may be among Europe’s highest taxed, but they are also the happiest according to new research by the UK’s Office of National Statistics. Nine out ten people in Denmark and Finland described themselves as ...

OpinionThe small price of democracy

17.06.14 @ 17:40

The Portuguese constitutional court recently rejected government spending cuts for the sixth time. In June 2012, the court stated that since a plan to limit extra holiday and Christmas pay was targeted only at public ...

Austerity measures destroying EU social model: report

03.06.14 @ 09:28

Austerity measures meant to pull Europe out of the crisis have put some 800,000 children into poverty. The findings, among others, are detailed in a 357-page World Social Protection report out Tuesday (3 June) by the ...

EU court: Countries are entitled to reject benefit claims

21.05.14 @ 09:12

Countries can reject benefit claims by citizens of other EU countries if they are engaging in 'social tourism', the advocate general of the European Court of Justice said Tuesday (20 May) in an opinion likely to be ...

Post EU ElectionsPopulist MEPs lead Twitter ranking

15.05.14 @ 08:46

European citizens are due to elect a new European Parliament in less than two weeks. With two-thirds of MEPs on Twitter, part of the election is being fought on social media. The number of tweeting MEPs has risen ...

Le Pen attacks Brussels "gravediggers" in May Day event

02.05.14 @ 10:24

Marine Le Pen launched the National Front's campaign for the European elections with a stinging attack on the European Union on Thursday (May 1), urging voters to punish Brussels "gravediggers". Speaking at the party's ...

Danes the happiest EU workers, survey finds

25.04.14 @ 09:34

Denmark has the EU's happiest workforce, according to research published Thursday (25 April) by Eurobarometer. Ninety-four percent of Danish workers are satisfied with their own conditions at work, the survey found, ...

Controversy over citizens' initiative on abortion funding ban

11.04.14 @ 09:27

A second citizens' initiative demanding a change in EU law courted controversy on Thursday (10 April) over its proposals to ban funding for abortion and reproductive health services in developing countries. The 'One of ...

MEPs accuse troika of causing 'social tsunami'

14.02.14 @ 09:28

The troika caused social devastation by forcing eurozone crisis countries to ignore social and welfare standards, MEPs have said. Deputies on the European Parliament's employment committee backed a report by Spanish ...

Non-EU seasonal workers to get equal rights

06.02.14 @ 09:43

Foreign seasonal workers in the EU will have the same employment and social rights as their EU counterparts, under new rules adopted by the European Parliament on Wednesday (5 February). MEPs in Strasbourg signed off on ...

Jobs not lifting Europeans out of poverty, commission warns

22.01.14 @ 09:32

One in four Europeans are at risk of poverty, the European Commission said Tuesday (21 January). Unveiling its annual report on 'Social and Economic developments in 2013' EU employment commissioner Laszlo Andor said the ...

Protesters call for EU reform near summit venue

19.12.13 @ 20:30

As EU leaders descended upon Brussels for the summit, trade unions and members of the public have staged protests against what they describe as erosion of democracy. “Democracy is nothing without the control of the ...

Euro policy needs to be 'controversial,' EU commissioner says

16.12.13 @ 16:04

The prevailing policy response to the eurozone crisis risks leading to a situation where membership of the single currency and democracy are no longer compatible in southern member states, the EU's employment ...

EU court grants welfare rights to same-sex partners

12.12.13 @ 18:40

Workers in civil partnerships are entitled to the same benefits as married couples, the European Court of Justice has ruled, in a case that could have a profound impact on employment contracts and welfare regimes across ...

Crisis knocking EU 2020 goals off track

29.10.13 @ 18:35

The economic crisis has knocked the EU's longterm strategic targets off track with planned poverty-reduction and employment goals unlikely to be met by 2020. "Without adequate policy measures to rapidly reverse this ...

MEPs back higher medical safety standards following PIP scandal

22.10.13 @ 18:53

Medical devices ranging from pacemakers to breast implants will be subject to stricter controls under rules agreed by MEPs on Tuesday (22 October). Deputies voted by a large majority to support two new laws covering ...

Thirty EU rules should be changed or scrapped, say UK businesses

14.10.13 @ 20:55

Thirty pieces of EU legislation should be changed or scrapped, according to a report on business regulation commissioned by the UK government. The 'Cut EU red tape' report to be published on Tuesday (15 October), ...

Welfare tourism 'neither widespread nor systematic' in Europe

14.10.13 @ 16:13

EU citizens move from one member state to another overwhelmingly for work reasons and not to claim welfare, an EU study said Monday (14 October). The European Commission study is an attempt by Brussels to bring some ...

OpinionHow about a social troika?

03.10.13 @ 08:00

Picture the scene: Troika members go to a member state and are greeted with enthusiasm. The Troika is welcomed with open arms, not dreaded. It is a 'social Troika' there to encourage, not discourage. This Troika works ...

French minister slams German 'wage-dumping'

19.09.13 @ 09:25

A senior French minister launched a broadside at Angela Merkel on Wednesday (18 September), accusing the German government of seeking an unfair advantage by keeping domestic wages artificially low. Speaking during an ...

Austerity could create 25mn more poor Europeans

12.09.13 @ 09:27

Up to 25 million more people in Europe are at risk of poverty by 2025 if governments continue with austerity policies, international aid agency Oxfam has said. In a study released Thursday (12 September) ahead of an EU ...

EU takes UK to court over social benefits test

30.05.13 @ 17:44

The European Commission stepped into a highly sensitive national issue with one of the most eurosceptic member states Thursday (30 May) when it decided to take the UK to court over its social security tests for ...

EU to 'revive hope' on youth jobs, Barroso pledges

02.05.13 @ 17:55

European Commission boss Jose Manuel Barroso called on EU leaders to come up with a package against youth unemployment at the June summit, promising that the EU executive would do its bit to "revive hope, especially for ...

EU seeks more corporate transparency

17.04.13 @ 09:24

EU companies will be required to publish information ranging from anti-corruption and bribery measures to their boardroom policies and employment practices, under new legislation unveiled by the European Commission on ...

Debt crisis harming industrial relations: EU report

11.04.13 @ 20:30

EU austerity programmes are putting the bloc's social model under strain by isolating trade unions and employers, a report by the European Commission indicated Thursday (11 April). Launching the 300-page report on ' ...

ECB: German households less wealthy than Cypriots

10.04.13 @ 09:27

Luxembourg tops the ranking of Europe’s wealthiest households followed by Cyprus while Germany is at the bottom, according to a survey report released by the European Central Bank on Tuesday (9 April). The survey spans ...

EU bailouts: misery for old people, children, single mothers

14.02.13 @ 10:23

Austerity policies imposed in bailed-out countries like Greece and Portugal are taking a high toll on the poorest and most vulnerable in society, a study published on Thursday (14 February) by the Catholic charity ...

EU set to agree 2013 budget after Commission climb-down

05.12.12 @ 19:45

EU politicians are expected to avoid becoming the first to fail to agree the bloc's annual budget since 1987 after brokering a last minute deal. MEPs tentatively accepted a commission proposal that would increase the EU ...

InterviewDisability in the EU - a 'paradigm shift'

04.12.12 @ 10:14

Over recent decades, there has been a "paradigm shift" in the way disability rights are treated in the European Union with policy-makers now focussing on how to make society more inclusive of disabled people. "We've ...

FocusDisability and EU austerity: a Portuguese case study

23.11.12 @ 10:02

Cristina Silva believes the worst is over. But she cannot be sure. As executive director of a recuperation centre for disabled people in central Portugal, Silva has seen first hand how the economic crisis in Portugal is ...

Europe's cities hit by anti-austerity protests

14.11.12 @ 20:40

Many of Europe's capital cities ground to a halt on Wednesday (14 November) with a series of anti-austerity marches and co-ordinated strikes. The demonstrations, which amount to the biggest pan-European attack on tough ...

Moldovans are the poorest people in Europe

31.10.12 @ 09:29

People in Liechtenstein are the richest in Europe, while Moldovans are 45 times poorer, a German study shows, placing Spaniards closest to the European average purchase power of around €13,000 a year. Carried out in 42 ...

EU anti-strike rules sink as parliaments wield Lisbon powers

12.09.12 @ 18:16

Plans to re-write rules to restrict the right to strike were dropped by the European Commission on Tuesday (11 September) in the face of sustained criticism by national parliaments. Parliaments in 12 member states used ...

EU austerity is feeding racism, report says

03.05.12 @ 09:55

EU austerity measures are helping to feed racism and intolerance, according to a report by the Strasbourg-based human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe. In its annual survey out on Thursday (3 May), the council's ...

EU countries back 'new' members on Swiss immigration

19.04.12 @ 09:25

EU countries have put up a united front against Swiss quotas on immigration from former Communist member states. Foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton on Wednesday (18 April) in a statement on behalf of the Union said ...

Denmark: No hope of breakthrough on EU rights bill

12.01.12 @ 09:17

The Danish EU presidency aims to keep talks going on an EU bill on minority rights in the services sector. But it has no faith in a breakthrough. Danish spokesman Jakob Alvi told EUobserver on Wednesday (11 January) it ...

OpinionRacism alive and well as EU sits on anti-discrimination bill

13.12.11 @ 18:12

It seems that the European Commission has just about given up on getting a progressive EU anti-discrimination law adopted. This draft law, which would ban discrimination on grounds of religion or belief, disability, age ...

FocusEurope's disabled people feel strengthened by meeting with EU presidents

12.12.11 @ 17:42

Europe’s disabled people feel they are being taken seriously for the first time in Brussels after a joint meeting with all three presidents of the European Union at the same time. “It was the first time that disability ...

FeatureWhat happens when a currency collapses? Ask Bulgaria

28.11.11 @ 22:31

Fifteen years ago, both Bulgaria and Romania went through rampant inflation linked to a financial crisis. Bucharest narrowly avoided the collapse, but Sofia was less fortunate and experienced a meltdown of the sort ...

Focus'It's not true that everything should be adapted'

17.11.11 @ 08:56

Quality of life for a disabled man in the EU capital, the fountainhead of Europe-wide laws and standards, depends more on basic human values than on legislation. Erik, a 41-year-old Dutch language teacher, became a ...

FocusDisability in Europe

15.11.11 @ 17:39

Already at the margins of society as a result of casual discrimination, disabled people are among the worst hit by the waves of austerity measures being put in place right across the European Union. Read more in ...

FocusEU anti-discrimination directive: buried, but not dead

15.11.11 @ 17:06

The Polish presidency is keeping alive work on an EU bill on access to services for minority groups in the face of antipathy from fellow countries and apathy from the European Commission. The previous college of ...

FocusRomanian IT developer: 'Stairs never stopped me'

15.11.11 @ 17:05

To get to the first floor of a 19-century villa in the diplomatic quarter of Bucharest, the staircase winds narrowly like a snail house and there is no elevator. Thirty-three-year old Iulian Craciun sits in the office ...

FocusDisabled people live in 'terror' of the future

15.11.11 @ 17:05

Already at the margins of society by virtue of casual discrimination, disabled people are often among the worst hit by the waves of austerity measures being put in place right across the European Union. As governments ...

VideoA coffee with Corien Wortmann-Kool about the EU's 'six-pack'

20.10.11 @ 08:01

In an effort to prevent the euro zone debt crisis from ever happening again, the EU has approved six tough rules to control member states' fiscal policies. EUobserver meets Dutch MEP Corien Wortmann-Kool, key-negotiator ...

VideoEurozone debt crisis dominates European Parliament agenda

30.08.11 @ 17:42

After a summer of market turmoil, MEPs touched base with some of the key players in solving the Euro zone sovereign debt crisis this week, President of the Euro group Jean-Claude Juncker, Minister of Finance of Poland ...

VideoRoma rights still neglected in the EU

25.08.11 @ 16:41

Although the European Commission has a relatively new Roma integration strategy, the director of the European Roma Rights Centre Robert Kushen questions whether they will follow through with it and demand real action ...

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